tv [untitled] November 17, 2010 3:30am-4:00am PST
recognize our school district staff people out. cathy, who was here just a minute ago, who does a great job of supporting our work. [applause] and we have walter, who is our program evaluator. [applause] both have provided a tremendous support to our committee, made up of parents, community members, school district principleals. prop h, the enrichment funds, was approved by the majority of voters in san francisco. our school district -- some
resources. these funds in which the 55,000 students at every grade level, every public school in san francisco -- these funds enrich the 55,000 students. together, feedback from the community on the importance of funding public education in richmond funds. with this resolution, we are presenting their annual report to the superintendent. to prepare this report, we held a series of community forums in 2010, where we heard voices about how the programs enrich the lives of all of our students. we have some students to share the effect on their lives, and the community advisory committee
was very impressed and moved by their stories, so i would like to begin to introduce mr. smith, who will speak about the wellness program. >> good evening. as you all know, a name is- -- smith. i live in the haight ashbury with my older brother, my sister-in-law, my little sister, which is pretty korea, because she is a freshman at washington, and a little nephew, and the new edition to i am a, a two months old, a niece -- which is pretty court -- cool. because she is a freshman in washington, and a little nephew, and the new addition to our family, two months old, a niece.
i told the nurse that it was not received very well in class, so being the nice lady that she is, she made a couple of calls, in my own insurance situation was a little complicated, and she made some phone calls and cleared up for me. after a couple of weeks, she made me an eye appointment, and my brother was busy, so she was able to come with me, and we really got to know each other. it was really cool, and she told me that i was a good speaker and that i would be good for one program, and she introduced me to someone, and he helped me a lot with presentation and public speaking and not being a teacher
but as it year, going into the classes and teaching the kids, -- but being -- not being a teacher but being a peer. in my laboratory partner melissa graduated last year. -- and my laboratory partner. at first, it was in the awkward because we had students and adults. me, i was thinking, what can i possibly teach them that they do not already know? there was the awkward feeling that we had earlier. that was good when it became an powering -- became empowering.
i want to go to college. any college that excess me is a good college to me, but if i did have a choice, i do want to go to the university of miami -- any college that accepts me is a good college. my second choice is east carolina state. i know someone always talks about the school. -- who always talks about that school. also, football fever for my school. that is even a more important reason. but without a wellness program at george washington school, the outreach program, there would not be me speaking to kids about important topics, you know? none of this would be possible without the wellness, so i would just keep in mind that oliver
students vote -- value the wellness in our school. some have over 2000 kids, and we need our wellness, and we appreciate it, so they q4 letting me speak. [applause] -- so thank you for letting me speak. [applause] >> i would like to introduce william, who was speaking about the professional program -- who will speak about a professional program. >> my name is william, and i attend prep just a few blocks from here. i am currently a sophomore. all of the lsp's in san francisco.
i just want to talk a little bit about my life before. i used to be involved in gangs. my life before was like a puzzle that i did not know how to make. i was confused in every point of my life. i have a lot of problems. i am not an open person. i am still not an open person. i never had anybody to talk to before i met her. in middle school, i just wanted to drop out of school because i did not feel that i belonged, and all of my friends, that is what they taught me, and i really did not have anyone to talk to before. my life, like, changed dramatically, because it was not a short process. it was a long process in being here. i was able to talk to her about my life in problems, in she
helped me out a lot. -- and she helped me out a lot. can think her. like i said, she has been like an angel to me a forever thing she has helped me through. she has helped me through the toughest times of my life. and i do not know what i -- i do not know if i would still be practically alive if it was not for her. after meeting this wax -- after meeting miss wax, i wanted to drop out. she made me keep in school and keep my grades up. eventually, i was able to graduate and attend the sacred heart cathedral prep with people scholarship in a program that provides everything, and i do not have to pay anything,
because the parents really cannot afford the school, which is something i also think her for because i do not know what high school i would be in or where i would be if it was not for her. the difference she made -- the lsps making school is a huge difference. i know my story, my theme, is big, but there are thousands of kids that have where stories than me that do not have anybody to talk to. and i know many of them. there is a group in the mission that is called young life. many of those kids seek for help in middle school. that is when i think it is most important to get it, because that is the key part of your life, because you do not know anybody. you need help from people to guide you, and you cannot find much of that these days. in school, they think your whole life is inside the laws, but we have a whole life outside the laws, outside of school.
mostly, everybody in school does not know that. they just think we go to school, go home, eat, and sleep, and that is it. that is not our lives. we have more things to worry about. it is really good to have somebody like her at school, and just everything. she helped me stay in school. she also plays soccer. i have been in versus the since my freshman year at sacred heart cathedral. and she helped me stay in that. she knew it was a good opportunity permit to get my mind off things aside from school, and because she knows you can't be in school without having thoughts about other things. it was good that she helped me stay in that, too. i eventually -- just for now, i stay in school. i passed my freshman year. i get good grades. currently i have a 3.33. i take honors classes.
[applause] i take honors classes, and i made it to the police academy team, which is the best known players around the area of northern california. i also represent san francisco in that team, because i am the only guy from san francisco on it. i just think there should be -- like i said before, i think there should be more lsps around san francisco. even elementary schools have too many kids that seek help, but do not know where to find it. i just really want to get in everybody's mind that this is a very important job to keep in schools. thank you. [applause] >> i really want to thank both
of you for coming to speak with us today. this is really about us restoring many things our public schools need besides construction, many of the things we had to cut when prop. 13 passed, which is counseling and a lot of our leadership. i think it is really important for the board to hear how this funding impact students, and it impact your ability to learn in school, your ability to be leaders, your ability to be in a safe environment and to be successful. thank you so much for sharing your personal story with us tonight. >> i would like to recognize miss wax, who is in the audience, to stand. [applause] >> i'm want to echo your thanks for leshawn and william for
coming out and being very brave and talking about incredible impact of these programs. these young people exemplify the impact these programs have on students in our district. there are 55 students like them who are reached by these programs. these programs in gauge, excite, and enhance the learning process for our students. they are given greater exposure to pursue interests outside of the classroom, and greater support from trained professionals to help students cope with issues that may disrupt the learning process. that said, this finding supports a whole list of -- supports a holistic approach to students in schools. without it, our young people will not reach our full potential. because of the athletics and physical education, our students are more inclined to be healthy and active. we support the mental health and well-being of our students in remarkable ways you have just heard. we have created a more inclusive
community by providing translation and interpretation services to support the language diversity of the families in our district. we know parent engagement is a key factor in students' success. these students support that involvement and lead to more engagement in the school community. in light of the importance of these programs, we have formulated the following recommendations. this year, peef's budget so reductions to learning support professionals mean that a number of schools do not have social workers and school nurses. we recommend restoring learning support professionals as much as possible so that all the elementary schools, middle schools, and k-eight sites have support. in addition to restoring the reductions to the lsp program, we recommend that no further cuts be made to those programs.
lastly, we recommend that improving transparency around funding decisions for the 33rd programs, understanding the process by which decisions are made by funding reductions, and program considerations -- and program continuations will help include the community in that. thank you. we hope you will consider these recommendations. this year, we will continue to inform the public about peef and it's important to students and their families, as well as getting feedback from community members about the impact and priorities. we will not work with parent groups, community organizations -- we will network with parent groups, community organizations, and others to build awareness. we will direct students to hear about student perspectives. we will form peef priorities for
our schools. >> comments and questions from the board? commissioner yee: i want to join president kim's words about the youth who came out to speak today. thank you for sharing your stories, because there were very powerful. these are the type of things the public have to hear. sometimes, we get a chance to hear some things, but there is just not enough. there are so many of the stories that are out there, yet it is not being told. i am glad you are here today. go back to your friends. if they also have had the same positive experience that you have had, ask them to step forward to tell their stories. really, san francisco has to hear this. thank you very much. commissioner norton: first of all, i want to thank you gentlemen for coming and talking to us. it really was very powerful to hear your stories.
i think you are both impressive young men. i cannot wait to see what happens later in your life. i am sure you are going on to great things. i do have a question for our committee, particularly around the recommendation about the transparency around the button. can you be -- around the budgeting. can you be a little more specific about what did not happen this last year that you are recommending should happen in subsequent years around the third third and subsequent communication about that? >> there are a number of things within the third third budget. we have a reserve fund which was removed from the peef funding formula. that was $4 million, which is a significant chunk. we had lsd cuts that were quite significant. students are concerned about losing the lsps at their school.
the third thing is we had the violence prevention programs eliminated, which according to last year's statistics served 10,000 students. but that was eliminated, and the implementation of the replacement program, restorative justice -- i do not know well -- i do not know how well that has been. i will not go into that. but all those are decisions that were made, let us just put it that way. i think in the future we can be more specific in recommendations as to the overall budget. obviously, there are certain conduct restraints where the school district is $100 million in the hole. so i understand all that. but if we are going to be a community advisory committee, if we are going to participate in the process, we want to participate in the process. commissioner norton: just to
make sure i understand, it sounds like what you're saying is there was not any outreach to the committee about the decisions being made about the third third. it was after the fact thanks for your recommendations, and now we going to do something different with the money? >> yes. [laughter] it is a stark way of putting it. commissioner norton: i am sorry to interrupt. but in this moment you are an advisory body to the board of education. and with the most candor, you can advise us. that is what we are requesting. if it is that all possible, i would like to be as direct and as candid as possible about your experiences. and try not to mince words. i am not indicating you are doing that, but these are some
of the few times that we have with you, and we would love -- i can say pepersonally that i want to hear every possible new ones -- nuance that you need for us to know about your circumstances and situations and what you have to deal with and manage, so that we can help you help us. >> well, i think overall there was not much clarity from school leaders around what was being done with funds they had in the budgets prior years. and there was uncertainty in terms of the lsp position for how to really address that need when there were some severe cuts to that portion of support we were getting at the school, particularly to the violence prevention. it was expressed that there was a certain amount of autonomy around with that money was used for, and there were able to
build on things and, you know, start to see an impact. and the board went in a different direction with a new program, but they just kind of felt like they were not explained -- it was not explained to them clearly, so they were just confused and sort of distraught, and maybe a little frustrated. you obviously have leadership. you have a direction you want to take the city. and the funds came directly out of what they're trying to do before. so i guess more exchange and collaboration is what they were seeking in future fund decisions at that level. commissioner fewer: i want to extend a note of appreciation to all the members, because i had served on the committee, i know,
for many, many years, so i know it is time consuming. i know some of the meetings and very light. i know it is completely voluntary. i would like to thank you for your participation in this. and then i would just like to say that i want to thank you for listening to all the stories that people told you. and i know that you were out listening to the community this year, and reading all of these comments from people, and i am sure there are many more, this really brings it to life about what the money is about. and i think these are the kind of stories that we do want to capture, because we will have to renew this money in 2015. so the stores are out able -- are valuable. it is the impact of the stories like you gentleman shared with us today. we hope we are compiling this so we can show the voters that this has been a good thing for the children of san francisco.
and also, to address the transparency, i agree that we need to do a better -- we can always do a better job of transparency. but one of the frustrations when i was on the committee was that we had some evaluative measures but we never sought impacts. that means that the numbers -- the device which and we got back was never about how this money -- we could say so many were served. we could say so many. but we never really talked about the evaluation around impact. when we talk about the violence prevention, for example, you remember perhaps that commissioner maufas and i came to address your committee to explain where the money it was going and where we saw it being used for, somewhat redirected from the school sites. but you might recall that when i
was on the committee that we did get reports of what the money was used for, and it was not showing impacts for violence prevention. so we saw some trips to the real world. we saw some other things that we did not know how it was impacting actually violence prevention. i am going to ask the public to be patient with us on the restorative justice monies that we are using. and i would like to also noted that it is not the entire amount of violence prevention funds that were allocated previous years. 911,000 was put to violence prevention funds the previous year, and this year to restore to justice money was cut by close to -- this year the restorative justice money was cut by about 300,000. so i think that when we look at where the money is being spent and how it is being spent, i think what the board really wants to know is -- is this
really having an impact? and what impact is it really having in our students' life? we can do quantitated numbers about how many we serve, but we are also looking for that qualitative -- what are the measures we can use that really show impact? i think what you put in your report today about a lot of experiences, and the voices of people on school sites that are serving, the parents, and the students, that is a type of very voluble information that we really love to hear, and i think the public likes to hear, too. the moneys are being spent and children and parents are really appreciating these extra moneys, particularly in this hard budget time, that there is this fund that is actually going to serving our students. i want to also say that i hope that we will, when we do more evaluation around this, that we will be able to measure the impact as far as the other
programs, like our arts and libraries and sports and athletics. what is the real impact it is having? in the next budget on the 15, we are able to show some results of that. but i really want to thank you for being part of this committee. i know that i still have one more point, but everyone i have asked to be on this -- my other appointee has said this is so much work i cannot do it. when i see you here tonight and know all the other nights you have been at these meetings, i really want to extend our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for all your time and service to the children of this district. thank you. commissioner wynns: actually, some of my comments will follow and be in line with some of the things that commissioner fewer said. i want to thank all of you. a particularly thank you young
men for testifying this evening. i think it is a difficult thing to do. we thank you very much for that. this is what i have been thinking. i appreciate that we have -- we are evaluating the individual program funded through prope h, to the public in richmond fund, as much as we can. but i do not know and am interested in the staff meeting representation to us about how we actually can look at the -- the goals we have set for the district and how we think these resources are helping us reach them, if they are. because what i think is that there are -- most of the things, and i appreciate the work and recommendations of all committees, going back to the beginning, because really it was the committees to came up with the recommendations for the areas we should fund, especially with the third third -- the were
all mostly things that we all wanted to have in our schools. student support, mostly. the enrichment part through the first third. and help with our efforts to focus on improvement for the whole district. however, it seems to me that within that large tent or umbrella, where these are things we know are good in schools and students can use and will benefit them, and all the evidence in your report of otherwise tells us that -- we know all that. but it is not in context. that is what i am hoping that we will -- i know it is hard to do, but it seems to me we need to have a way to try to put in context all those resources, particularly the very limited resources we now have, and to say we think this is getting us toward those goals, or we think
this is nice to have but maybe not getting us toward those goals. and then we would be able, with the committee and the community, to have -- to ask different questions about the overall effectiveness, and we think this is the kinds of things we want to continue to fund. for instance, i cannot imagine we would not want to continue to fund the enrichment parts, which are restricted. i personally have been grateful that they are restricted in recent years, because we have not been able to cut them when things are so desperate. but when we go to reauthorize this, i would like to be able to see as much as we can in the broad context, so we can decide as a community but things we want to continue doing, what other things we might want to add, or the balance or what% we are spending on these kind of areas, and what on nos. the thing now is the perfect time we start to think in those terms.